DIVORCE, TRAUMA AND OUR NATURAL REACTIONS

  • The #1 cause of divorce in any country is…….Marriage!

Have you ever noticed during a dramatically stressful time in your life that you walk around on egg shells careful not to cause anyone to go into a raging fit. You also fear everything…….loud sounds, screaming, sirens, lack of basic needs for you and your children etc. This can trickle into your place of employment too where you take on other fears leading to lasting health issues. Divorce/break ups are one of the causes of this horrible state of living and if you are going through this…..You are NOT alone.

This response you are experiencing is called psychological trauma and it leads to many health issues causing fatigue, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, and dissociation. So its no wonder why you feel like you are going out of your mind. But lets dive into this a little deeper to understand what divorce has to do with it all.

First of all, 40% of all marriages in Canada end in divorce and in all of North America that is 2.9 of 1000 marriages that end in divorce. That is a whole lot of emotional trauma for men and women alike.

Most people that go through with divorce never consider some of the losses associated with a major break up. Even if you are the one initiating the break, you still experience trauma usually beginning with guilt of how this is effecting the children and extended family. It really doesn’t matter the reason for divorce whether it be conflict/arguing, violence, lack of commitment, infidelity or substance abuse. Trauma happens. Not to mention how family, friends and children take sides. Most people don’t take into consideration this loss when they make the decision to leave the marriage. The continued fighting and threats from your ex can escalate leading to heightened trauma which causes a chemical change in the body flooding it with adrenaline and cortisol(stress hormone). Your heart races and blood pressure rises causing a “fight or flight” response. Some people react differently and are unable to move at all. (deer in headlights reaction) These are just a couple examples of what can cause your body to do what its doing and make you believe you are going out of your mind. Little side note* (Your ex is likely going through these same emotions and reactions as you are even if you can’t see it on them.)

Long term trauma can lead to lasting health issues such as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome), IBS-D (diarrhea), chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Did you know that your body can hold onto trauma? Its held in your organs, tissues, skin, muscles and endocrine glands. These all have receptors that let them access and retain emotional pain and information. Yes, your memories are not just in your brain but also your body! This is something you want to avoid at all cost. (Awakenings Treatment Center)

How can we help ourselves prevent long term effects? This completely depends on your frame of mind and what outcome you desire. However it starts with remembering who you were prior to the relationship that just dissolved. What hobbies did you enjoy? Where did you work and can you get back into that career? Maybe you enjoyed physical fitness and desire to lose weight or gain muscle? Call out to old friends and make plans to meet. Do whatever it takes to find yourself again and mesh it with your current situation. (family, job etc.)

No matter what you did before the relationship or what you choose to do now it is important to ask yourself if what you are doing is healthy and has purpose to your future healthy self. If the answer is yes, then do it. Start small like a 30 minute walk a couple times a week. It will help clear your mind and do amazing things for your mental health.

Read, read, read!!! Not only does reading have a calming effect on your body and mind, knowledge is power and that is what essentially is going to help you get through this traumatic time in your life.

I will be leaving some helpful titles of books here on this site that may pertain to your circumstances as well as links that contribute to your healthy future. Keep a watchful eye out for them in the near future.

Thank you for trusting me into your life and helping you get yourself back………your BFF.

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